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February 2016 (Vol. 26 Issue 11)

ConditionsNatural Soaps

Natural Soaps

Soap is one of those things we all take for granted

Soap is one of those things we all take for granted. Yet, we've used it for thousands of years as part of daily life and in religious ceremonies. These days, the art of making soap has largely died away, overtaken by the trend towards detergent use. Today, most of us use detergents moulded to look like bars of soap.

Genuine soap is made in a one-step process that has changed little over millennia. The Babylonians knew how to do it, as did the Ancient Egyptians. Unlike detergent, soap creates little waste to make and little waste to use. Making soap requires two ingredients: fat or oil; and a strong alkali solution. Once mixed, the fat combines with the alkali solution to form soap. Good-quality soap will be about 70-per-cent oil, such as olive or almond.

Many modern liquid and bar detergents are deceptively labelled 'soap' when they contain absolutely no soap whatsoever.

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